By Dan Bernstein

By Dan Bernstein —
CBSChicago.com senior columnist

(CBS) When a child is diagnosed with cancer, everything changes for him or her and the family.

Lives are upended, turning into a string of hospital stays, surgeries and treatments, with these young kids experiencing untold new anxieties as their identities are changed by their experience with illness. Cancer doesn’t discriminate, affecting more than 16,000 children each year.

Since 1978, Camp One Step has provided a place for these kids to experience the simple joys of childhood amid and beyond all of it, welcoming them into a community of support, hope and strength. They’re given the chance to meet and bond with other pediatric cancer patients and survivors in a non-hospital setting, providing new and valuable shared experiences. We empower kids who have cancer, encouraging them to take on the world.

Camp One Step now offers 11 programs throughout the year, serving 740 campers in 2017. Our dedicated team of doctors and nurses makes sure that kids in active treatment as well as those in remission can participate in such things as our summer and winter camps, Utah ski trip, family camp, horseback trip, whitewater rafting and more.

It costs us an average of $1,000 to send a child to a week-long program, and we’ve never turned anyone away.

As vice chairman of this great organization, I ask that you join us on this Giving Tuesday in our goal to send 120 more kids to camp between now and Jan. 1. Your donation of $35, $50, $100 or more will be matched by the Ellen Marks Cancer Foundation up to the first $25,000 raised today, as we continue to move forward together in supporting more and more children as they face the challenge of their lives.

You can help right now by clicking here.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s “Bernstein and Goff Show” in afternoon drive. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_bernstein and read more of his columns here.

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